Is Artificial Intelligence the Answer in the Health IT World?

In the world of Health IT, conversations about collected data often lead to the question, how can we utilize all this information?

While there are many things to consider in managing and analyzing large data sets, an answer to this debate could be the use of artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence can be quite the controversial topic. Some leading names like Bill Gates and Elon Musk have come out as extremely wary of AI. While keeping these concerns in mind is obviously important, they are extrapolating potential negative effects far in the future. If we consider the possibilities that AI provides to make the most of underutilized healthcare data right now, its potential seems much more positive.

A recent article talks about some of the ways AI is currently being used in healthcare. Notably it is being used to help clinicians keep track of patients’ medication intake, help encourage healthy behavior tailored to individuals, and to develop new and more effective drugs. This use of AI has also been discussed in terms of its ability to find new drugs for curing cancers.

Within this discussion David Patterson, a UC Berkeley computer science professor and collaborator on a study of leukemia, explained how AI can contribute to healthcare research. He notes, “We’re going from a biologically-intensive field to a more computer science-intensive field. There’s been a million-fold improvement in the cost of sequencing. It’s turning that information into bits — and that’s why we can step in. Computer scientists can deal with terabytes or petabytes of information. That’s in our wheelhouse.”

Another health tech startup, Entlitic, is using a form of AI called deep learning. While many other companies use this form of AI, Entlitic may be one of the first to attempt to apply these learnings. They aim to use large data sets of medical images and process them to find patterns in new images. The startup could take unused archives, and make use of the vast imaging data. It is a great example of making the most of the data at hand.

Yes, it is important to be wary of what the use of artificial intelligence could eventually lead to. But instead of thinking of our plausible dystopian future, first let’s think of the benefits it can have for us if developed responsibly. In healthcare, the use of AI is helping to make important strides in analyzing and utilizing valuable data sets.

Do you think the use of AI is beneficial to healthcare? Discuss in the comments below.

Catherine Slotnick, Marketing Manager

About Catherine Slotnick

Catherine Slotnick is a passionate healthcare marketer with a deep interest in the latest & greatest in the Health IT space. As Ambra Health's Director of Marketing, Catherine primarily focuses on creating and sharing thought leadership content in the radiology and informatics space. Catherine graduated from the University of Virginia with a BA in Psychology & Art History. When she's not writing, she enjoys cooking and petting dogs that aren't hers.

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